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The Role of Cholesterol in Your Body

By Janin Hendry

You have probably heard from your doctor that you need to get your cholesterol down. Cholesterol is part of all of you and plays an important role in constructing the cells in your body and their operation. Without cholesterol, your body would not function; it can also cause your body to break down more quickly.

What Is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a water-based lipoprotein that travels around your body. It builds the walls of your cells, aids in digestion in your intestines, helps you produce Vitamin D, and helps manufacture different types of hormones. In simplistic terms, there are two types of cholesterol you need to know about.

Good cholesterol - Good cholesterol or high-density lipoprotein helps to flush out your liver of harmful chemicals and compounds that can cause your body to have a stroke or a heart attack.

Bad cholesterol - Bad cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein, causes excess cholesterol levels to back up in your body, leaving you at risk for heart disease and the buildup of "plaque" inside your arteries.

What Happens When You Have Too Much Bad Cholesterol?

Too much bad cholesterol can make it difficult for your body to circulate blood through your body. Without proper circulation, you will find yourself more vulnerable to developing life-threatening conditions.

  • Heart disease
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Underactive thyroid gland
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Obesity

What Has the Most Bad Cholesterol?

Cholesterol-causing foods are everywhere. Bad cholesterol is in processed foods, fast food, baked goods, and red meat. Some of the best foods for your body can cause your cholesterol to go up.

  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Shellfish
  • Fried food
  • Processed meats like lunch meat
  • Desserts

What Can You Do?

Eating a well-balanced diet can help you keep your good and bad cholesterol levels in check. A visit to your doctor can help you to determine your cholesterol levels. You can also include foods into your diet that lower cholesterol and help you to control it, including oats, fatty fish like salmon, and fiber-rich foods like beans and nuts.

You can also exercise and maintain a healthy weight. Drinking in moderation and avoiding smoking will also help your body stay healthy and active.

Final Thoughts

Cholesterol is part of your life. Your body needs it to function, but balance is the key to keeping your body on the right path and reducing your chances of developing diseases as you age.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Shreveport, La.  

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